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Poster: yofitofu Date: Nov 28, 2009 1:19am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: 'Archive Farms' making false copyright claims on Prelinger Collection films used on Youtube.

Archive Films is a wholly owned subsidiary of Getty Images, which is apparently the stock library which represents the high end 16mm transfer materials of Prelinger's titles. They may mistakenly believe you obtained the materials from them and signed a typical "rights managed" contract to use them. No doubt they are also seeing if you will back off, which you have not.

I recently visited the National Archives in DC and asked a researcher there how titles patently in the Public Domain could be claimed by stock footage libraries who dogmatically enforce their "title" to them. The answer I was given was that the restrictions you get depend wholly on where you source (find and copy) the materials. A stock library can make you sign a contract for the usage of their PD materials, charge you a license fee, and can even force you to sign a binding agreement that you will not share, re-sell or re-license the materials. This contract can be enforced even though you discover the materials to be in the Public Domain, believe it or not. However, the researcher told me that if you source the materials from somewhere else other than the stock library, the stock library has no claim on them. Thus, if you "found" some Hearst Metrotone Newsreels in the National Archives, you would have no obligation to ask permission of the UCLA Film and TV Archives (who "exclusively" manage this collection) to use the clips. This is of course provided the supplier to the National Archives of these PD newsreels had not place "donor restrictions" on them! Confusing?

The bottom line is that Rick Prelinger has been very generous with his archive in making it available to the general public and your usage of it in any way should not constitute a violation of Archive's (Getty) method of "caveat emptor" to it's stock footage clients, especially since Rick has clearly stated his eagerness to promote a vibrant PD environment by sharing it with the world and encouraging you to do the same.

However, Getty Images is one big bruising m-f'er, and you have to decide if fighting it out over a free posting on You Tube is worth your while. If you do decide to fight it, you will have many supporters, and I will be one of them.

Please post any response the come back with.

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or StaffVideo-Cellar Date: Nov 28, 2009 2:01am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: 'Archive Farms' making false copyright claims on Prelinger Collection films used on Youtube.

This claim is from "Archive Farms" not "Archive Films". "Archive Farms" seem to have no affiliation with Getty Images or any of the other collections they link to on the right hand column of their blog home page. I am on solid ground particularly because I live in Australia and, as such, there's the option of getting an injuction against "Youtube" and "Archive Farms" for false claims of copyright. The beauty of Australian copyright law is that the statutory damages for copyfraud are about the same as for copyright infringement.

I'll post whatever they come back to me with.

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Poster: yofitofu Date: Nov 28, 2009 2:30am
Forum: prelinger Subject: Re: 'Archive Farms' making false copyright claims on Prelinger Collection films used on Youtube.

Actually, I did a little sleuthing around and found out that "Archive Farms" is a new company formed by Patrick Montgomery, who was the President and Founder of Archive Films until 1999 when it was bought by Getty. Montgomery could not have access to all of this Getty owned material and would never be allowed to link clips back to them unless he was affiliated somehow. Clearly Archive Farms is Montgomery's new attempt to form a downloadable superstore of archival PD content, perhaps in an attempt to prop up Getty's sagging archival content sales, of which he probably has a considerable interest. Here's the link to the Getty connection.


I met Montgomery once a long time ago when I was running an archive. He is a really nice guy, so I'm surprised he would be intimidating people for posting PD materials on You Tube. Unfortunate.

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